The 10 best African American male actors under 30 are as young as 12 right up to those about to hit 30. They have all proven themselves in challenging roles not just as African-American actors, but as some of the best actors in Hollywood.
- Columbus Short. This 26 year old from Kansas City is a talented actor, dancer and singer. He hit the spotlight in the film, “Stomp the Yard,” with actors Chris Brown and Megan Good. He starred as Little Walter in the film “Cadillac Records” and in “Death at a Funeral.”
- Tristan Wilds. His boy-next-door character on the new “90210” television series earned him a wide range of fans. On “The Wire” from HBO, his role was a street dealer. Look for him with African American actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard in the film “Red Tails.”
- Michael B. Jordan. He appears on “Friday Night Lights” as a troubled high school quarterback. Best known for his role as a drug dealer on HBO’s “The Wire,”he has also appeared on “Burn Notice,” “Law and Order” and “Bones.” He is one of the actors named a face of the future by Nylon Magazine.
- Jesse Williams. Williams, of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame, is known for his sexy persona in his role as Avery. He appeared in the movie "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" as the heartthrob boyfriend and on “Greek” as the hotness monster.
- Elijah Kelley. Kelley got noticed as Seawood J. Stubbs in the movie “Hairspray.” This multitalented actor showed that he can also sing and dance. He has signed on to play Sammy Davis Jr. in the upcoming film that tells the story of his days with the Rat Pack.
- Quinton Aaron. Along with Sandra Bullock, Aaron’s portrayal of Michael Oher, the loveable football player taken in by a southern family, rocketed the film “Blind Side” to success. His gentle and believable portrayal might be because he had just experienced the death of his mother and was about to be evicted when he got the role in the film.
- Damon Wayans Jr. Wayans comes from a family of talented comedians and actors. He follows in their footsteps as a comedy writer and comedian for the TV show starring his father, “My Wife and Kids,” and for “Def Comedy Jam.” He was in the recently released film “The Other Guys” with Will Farrell, as the rival cop Fosse.
- Jaden Smith. In the recent film, “Karate Kid,” Smith finally has a starring role along with Jackie Chan, not bad for a 12 year old. The film was produced by his parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, both superstar African American actors. He has also appeared with this father in the film “The Pursuit of Happyness” and with actors Jennifer Connelly and Keanu Reeves in “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” He’s proven he has the personality and acting skills to make it as one of the up and coming actors in Hollywood.
- Rob Brown. From Harlem, aged only 16 and with no experience as an actor, Brown was chosen to play opposite Sean Connery in the film “Finding Forrester” in 2000. Since then, he played in the films “Coach Carter” and “Take the Lead.” He starred in the film “The Express playing Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. His recent work is starring in the HBO series, “Treme,” which takes place in a New Orleans neighborhood just after Katrina.
- Khleo Thomas. Half Moroccan and half African-American, this rapper and actor was born in Anchorage, Alaska. He has starred in such films as “Holes,”“Walking Tall” and “Roll Bounce.” His latest movie is the soon-to-be-released “Boogie Town, a modern day westside story where illegal dance contests are held in the underground world of "Boogie Town."
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
Acting, comedy and strong spirits converge in Speakeasy. When host Paul F. Tompkins interviews entertainers—Key and Peele, Alison Brie, Rob Delaney, Zach Galifianakis—about all sor ...
Meet Madeline Brewer, Netflix Princess
The Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove beauty discusses fitness and dating.
The 5 Types of Beer You Should Know
Get familiar with these basics, and you'll be ready to rule the craft-beer universe.